The fall of 2015 was a great time to be a digital entertainment studio. Comcast launched Watchable, a streaming video app for short-form video programming that ran for 15 minutes or less and was produced by top digital media creators ranging from AwesomenessTV to BuzzFeed. A month later, Verizon went live with Go90 with even greater ambitions to own mobile streaming video — and would spend a billion dollars to make it happen. Needless to say, the optimism was high.
Today, the mood has changed as digital entertainment studios face a tougher climate. Money has been leaving the market as Go90, Watchable and a slew of other platform content buyers have closed their doors. Facebook’s long-term plans for funding Facebook Watch shows, meanwhile, remain up in the air. And other major video buyers — from Netflix to YouTube Premium — are squarely chasing down the future of TV with longer programming.
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